The hubby recently brought home some activated charcoal soap, and I’ll admit I was skeptical at first. This gal loves her body wash and foaming hand soap. But now I’m hooked. I have become a total convert to the simple bar of soap (makes sense why it’s been around so long)! Activated charcoal is an odorless, black powder that has impressive absorbing properties. When used in soap, it is detoxifying, exfoliating, clarifying, and just plain ol’ feels goods—all without drying out the skin (I use it head to toe, face included).
Don’t worry—it’s not the same kind of charcoal that you would find in a chimney sweep or the kind found on burnt pieces of food. Non-lye soap is embarrassingly easy to make (which is why I love it), so here is an easy, detoxifying activated charcoal soap recipe.
How to make activated charcoal soap
As a kid, my dad pulled out activated charcoal all the time for everything from bee stings to upset stomachs. But now beauty companies are turning to activated charcoal more and more as a key ingredient in masks, cleansers and even toothpaste! Charcoal is most effective for people with acne-prone skin, as it gently exfoliates and draws out dirt, oil and makeup that can clog pores. Adding tea tree oil adds natural anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
Here, we take a closer look at the myriad of benefits of activated charcoal can provide when used as a beauty product:
- It’s all-natural: Why depend on chemicals to leave your skin looking its finest when you can instead use something found in nature. Activated charcoal not only works, but it also won’t cause adverse reactions—or lead to pesky breakouts due to chemical reactions.
- It’s anti-bacterial: Activated charcoal has some pretty impressive antibacterial properties. One study even found that it has the ability to destroy E.coli!
- It unclogs pores: Even with the chemical-laden, store-bought stuff, it’s hard to unclog the pores on your face (and your face contains a whopping 20,000+ something of them). But activated charcoal does a pretty impressive job. It visibly reduces pore size thanks to its ability to clean out the dirt, grease and grime inside each one.
- It exfoliates: The texture of activated charcoal makes it a great, all-natural exfoliator. It helps slough off dead skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother, glowier and more youthful looking skin underneath!
Since I’m not ready to tackle learning how to deal with lye, I’ve become a big fan of melt-and-pour soap base. There are a ton of varieties for bases (plain glycerin, olive oil, goat milk, honey, oatmeal, etc.), and I have used different ones to make herbal/citrus soap and even chocolate soap. Here, I used a shea butter base for an added dose of major moisture.
Shea butter, like Greek yogurt, also helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, treats acne and blemishes, cuts down on skin inflammation and more. You can also add additional moisturizing oils (like argan or coconut) or even honey if you have really dry skin.
Note: you can also make a liquid activated charcoal soap!
DIY Detox Tea Tree + Charcoal Soap
- Double broiler
- Soap mold
- Cut the soap base into small chunks and melt over a double boiler.
- Remove a small amount of soap into a cup, cool slightly, and mix in charcoal, then add back into the rest of the melted soap base.
- Add the tea tree oil. If you don't like the smell of tea tree, you can add peppermint essential oil to hide the scent.
- Pour into mold (I used a muffin tin) and let cool.
Not in the mood to DIY it? Here are some of our favorite charcoal beauty products: